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Vendee Globe - Leaders into the Pacific

Strong winds and heavy seas are set to welcome Armel Le Cléac’h and Alex Thomson, as they cross the Tasman Sea and pass the magical mid-way point.

The Pacific is in a bad mood, as a low has developed over Tasmania and is deepening as its tail moves at around twenty knots towards the antipodean islands.

That is exactly the speed of the two leaders, who are likely to be exposed to these winds throughout the weekend.

This Australian low will be generating winds in excess of forty knots, whipping up some nasty seas.

The strong SW’ly air stream will be encountering a northerly swell, which has developed ahead of the system and it looks like being very physical for Armel Le Cléac’h leading the way ahead of Alex Thomson.

Thomson is now sailing on starboard tack and his intact port foil, which should mean he can regain some of the lost ground, as we saw a month ago, when the two were battling it out after passing Cape Finisterre.

For the two out in front it is clearly a duel for the time being, but they have to judge how hard to push while looking after the equipment, as while they are halfway through the contest, there is no half-time rest period.

The Fleet spread is now 6,079 nm back to Sebastien Destremau in 22nd place.

Pit Stop News

French skipper Romain Attanasio stopped in Simon's Bay near Cape Town Wednesday night where he aims to make repairs to his rudders. He planned to sleep before replacing one of the broken blades with his spare and making some kind or repair to the other rudder which has the top snapped off.

Both Eric Bellion and Thomas Ruyant are back on course after completing repairs yesterday which have kept their Vendee Globe dreams alive. Ruyant repaired his ballast scoop area and was making 15kt this morning. Bellion, in 16th, spent more than 12 hours making repairs yesterday.

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